January is often the time when people think about buying a house, whether it be their first home or a move. The period just after Christmas is one of those catalysts for people to get out and start looking – new year, new house. People say there is so much to think about when buying a property and it is most people’s single largest purchase in their lives so no wonder it all seems rather daunting. Well, if you’re on the look-out for a new abode this January, take a look at our five top tips.
1. Do your homework. When it comes to location, location, location it’s all about research, research, research. There are so many online tools now to assist with this that there’s really no excuse for not knowing the crime rates of your chosen village, whether it’s a commuter rat run or whether a horrific murder took place three doors down….
2. Know your limits. Work out your figures before you start looking so you know what your buying power is. This does, unfortunately, mean boring things like mortgage appointments, budgets and (sorry) spreadsheets before you get to the fun part of looking around houses.
3. Beware of the bargain. If something is too good to be true, it usually is. Enough said.
4. Be prepared. If you’re moving on, start digging out all of that paperwork you shoved at the back of a drawer when you bought your existing property. You’re going to have to answer lots of questions about your current property and provide copies of things such as guarantees, installation certificates and similar. So best to get that organised now as it will help you to avoid a mad panic once you’ve accepted an offer.
5. Choose wisely. When it comes to appointing those who will help you achieve your dream move – agents, brokers, lawyers – it really does pay to go on recommendation. Cheap isn’t always best. Online isn’t always easier. Read reviews, talk to your friends – and for your conveyancing, then come and talk to us.
Just remember, houses don’t come with a gift receipt.